Statewatch article: RefNo# 35218
EU: MED-CRISIS: European Commission's positions: "safe countries of origin", "Hotspot pre-removal centres" & Frontex as a "removal Agency
Statewatch News Online, July 2015
- Information note on “safe countries of origin” (18 pages, pdf): Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex comments:

"The CJEU ruled back in 2006 that the Council could not give itself special power to adopt a common list of supposed safe countries of origin, but had to follow the full EU legislative process. When EU law on asylum procedure was revised in 2013, the power to adopt such a common list was deliberately left out. But the Council now plans to draw up a de facto common list, with no democratic accountability whatsoever, in clear contempt for the rule of law."

- Explanatory note on the “Hotspot” approach (pdf): "structured border zones" are now referred to as "first reception facilities" or "pre-removal centres"

- Support to be provided by Frontex to frontline Member States on the return of irregular migrants (pdf) emphasises Frontex's role as a "returns" Agency rather that a Border Agency: "The Commission has announced its intention to propose to amend the Frontex Regulation to strengthen the role of Frontex, notably so that it can initiate return missions." [emphasis added]

- Letter from Dimitris AVRAMOPOULOS to Justice and Home Affairs Ministers (pdf):

"The aim of the "Hotspot" approach is to provide comprehensive and targeted support by the EU Agencies to frontline Member States which are faced with disproportionate migratory pressures at the external borders.... Frontex will provide prompt support for the identification of irregular migrants, the acquisition of travel document for their return, as well as carrying out return operations to bring them back to their home countries... . establishment of a common EU list of "safe countries of origin" [emphasis added]

See below documents on the Council's positions

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